April 1, 2011
If they tell you "the science is settled" remind them that they always tell everyone to "Question Authority"Today, the appeal to the authority of experts is sometimes excused by the immensity of our specialized knowledge.
And it is sometimes defended by philosophical theories that speak of science and rationality in terms of specializations, experts, and authority. But in my view, the appeal to the authority of experts should be neither excused nor defended. It should, on the contrary, be recognized for what it is – an intellectual fashion – and it should be attacked by a frank acknowledgement of how little we know, and how much that little is due to people who have worked in many fields at the same time. And it should also be attacked by the recognition that the orthodoxy produced by intellectual fashions, specialization, and the appeal to authorities is the death of knowledge, and that the growth of knowledge depends entirely upon disagreement. -- Karl Popper, Author’s Note, 1993, The Myth of the Framework
Posted by Vanderleun at April 1, 2011 4:16 PM. This is an entry on the sideblog of American Digest: Check it out.
"the orthodoxy produced by intellectual fashions"
For instance Darwinism, and the speculative "fact" that we all were, are and will be merely accidents of nature.
Posted by: Denny at April 1, 2011 4:43 PM
Hayek wrote that from the beginning the best minds in modern science understood that with scientific advance the range of acknowledged ignorance would grow, not shrink; but that now scientist are more likely to share an undeserved (well paid) faith in their comprehension of science which freezes thought.
"It is for this reason that those intoxicated by the advance of knowledge so often become the enemies of freedom."
Posted by: james wilson at April 1, 2011 10:32 PM
They say you're supposed to....
Posted by: Rob De Witt at April 2, 2011 12:24 AM
Science might really just be another form of religion because it mistakes measurement for understanding. The Religionist believes he has taken the measure of God, the Scientist the measure of phenomena. Both are rooted in self measurement which is the limit of our knowledge, truly. In a way the 'original sin' is putting knowledge above faith; putting the self above the Divine and in the end the scientist, no different than the religionist, actually owns nothing but the smug certainty of ignorance.
The only certainty is uncertainty. Respect the person that stands in awe and wonder and has some grasp of the journey itself as the destination.
Posted by: John Hinds at April 2, 2011 7:25 AM
Yes very understood that with scientific advance the range of acknowledged ignorance would grow, not shrink; but that now scientist are more likely to share an undeserved. In a way the 'original sin' is putting knowledge above faith; putting the self above the Divine and in the end the scientist, no different than the religionist, actually owns nothing but the smug certainty of ignorance.
Posted by: Tinson at April 2, 2011 12:01 PM